Often times a dental cavity can be treated with a routine dental filling. However, if the decay goes undetected and untreated, it will eventually spread to the soft pulp in the middle of your tooth. It could also affect your dental roots. If a tooth is traumatized or cracked, the pulp can become inflamed. Because your nerves run through the root canals into the inner chamber of your tooth, inflammation of the pulp can cause significant discomfort. If it continues to spread, it could also destroy the entire dental structure. Before the infection spreads and pain becomes intolerable, we recommend root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy (also known as “root canal” treatment) is a procedure we do routinely in our Knoxville office. There are multiple advantages of having one of our general dentists, Dr. Stephen Malone or Dr. Michael Costa, perform this therapy. The treatment will remove diseased tissue and bacteria from the root canals so disease is halted and the tooth can be restored. Root pain will be eliminated. Our advanced technology and methods allow us to complete root canal and crown treatment efficiently.
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may require root canal therapy:
- Chronic and worsening toothache
- Moderate to extreme sensitivity to heat and cold
- A gum abscess
- Severe dental injury that extends down to the root
At Knoxville Smiles we have in-house 3D imaging. We can use this advanced imaging to examine your dental roots to determine their health and their exact position for precision treatment.
To perform the treatment, Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will first numb your tooth and the nearby gum tissue. Then he will create a tiny opening in the top of your tooth. Through this opening, he can remove bacteria and infected pulp. He will also clean out and reshape your root canals. He may take x-rays throughout this process, so he can make sure he is eliminating all bacteria and infection. At the end of this first appointment, he will place a temporary filling. At your second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary filling. Then he will place a soft rubber compound called gutta percha. Finally, he will affix a dental crown on top of your damaged tooth. In most cases, he will provide an all-porcelain restoration, which will be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
We are compassionate and gentle when it comes to all dental procedures. Your safety and comfort are our highest priorities. Because your tooth and gums will be numb during the process, you will typically feel nothing more than a sense of mild pressure. Most patients report that having root canal therapy is comparable to receiving a dental filling.
Do not let an infection compromise your smile. Contact Knoxville Smiles immediately if you are experiencing dental pain. Urgent dental care is available in our office. Dr. Malone and Dr. Costa treat patients from Powell, Karns, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, Oak Ridge and the surrounding communities.
Saving Teeth with Root Canals
Root canal therapy is a very common procedure. It has a reputation of being undesirable and painful. But when done properly it is actually painless. Every tooth in your mouth is composed of a crown and a root. When a cavity or bacteria penetrates the tooth, the root and its nerves become irritated. As a result, the bacteria within the pulp cavity needs to be removed and cleaned in order to restore the tooth to its healthy state. Following the procedure, the tooth is fragile and consequently is restored with the natural crown for a lifetime of durability. Root canals have a success rate of 95% or greater. Most root canal are diagnosed by patients’ sensitivities to a specific tooth. Be sure to consult your dentist any symptoms or discomfort occur.